Betty Augustowski, helped introduce the Polish Lowland Sheepdog to the USA and worked hard to gain AKC recognition for the breed. Our interview, offers a unique insight into her vast experience and knowledge of PONS (as they are known in America) and will help motivate PON Lovers to  learn more about PONS by purchasing a copy of her book.

Betty, what inspired you to do another book on our beloved PONS ??

 (Shirley - Editor, of PON Digest, conducting this interview)

 

 

I was called by the editor to do a book for the United States . I had done a book for England a few years back and the editor thought it was time to do a book here. This book by no means replaces the Official Book on PONs."

 

Do you notice significant differences in the breed these days as compared to when you first introduced PONS into the USA ?   More chocolates, etc.

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"Yes, the breed today has lost some of its look from years ago. i.e.: the breed is now too tall, they have lost the stockiness from not working. The chocolates today are not what we saw when the breed first came over. Yes, you will still see some chocolates but not as deep and lustrous in color. Back in the day, you would see a solid deep chocolate color in the dog."

 

Which new topics have you added to this updated book ?

 

 "I added some information on the health problems that we are seeing now, AKC information, first AKC Champions and especially the section ďDonít Buy A PON if....Ē. I would have liked to have done more but my health gave out and I wasnít able to do so. I was able to get some help at the last minute, but the deadline had come and I had to go with what I had."

 

While observing all those beautiful PON photos' in your updated book, do you feel that the breed has maintained it's basic breed "type" ?? Have coat types changed ?

 

"In some of the photos in the book you still see the breed as it looked when they first came over. But as I had said above, the PON as we knew it back in the 80ís has changed. I wasnít able to get many new pictures, again. I had asked and the folks that I had asked didnít follow through. I had to use what I had on hand, and the editor had some pictures from the last book that hadnít been used he even purchased a photo from a professional photographer for the cover. As for the coat types? Well, again some of the coarsenessí is gone, and at times you will see a PON that has no undercoat, most of the time the undercoat is missing, due to the owner removing it, through improper grooming practices or purposely for easier grooming."

 

 

Which advice would you give newcomers to the breed and those who may be interested in showing and breeding ??

 

"Anybody new or interested in the breed should do as much research as possible, books like this are a great source especially the section ďDonít Buy A PON if.....Ē.

 

If a new person wants to breed their PON just do all of the health checks, on both the PONs used for the breeding and make sure that both dogs have good temperament and are within the specified sizes in the official PON Standard. You should also make sure that you will have the time to devote to the pregnant bitch and the liter of puppies if you are the owner of the female.

  For showing a PON whatís most important is to have a dog that is within the Standard, has a good temperament and enjoys showing. Some dogs are naturals in the show ring and others want nothing to do with it. Please donít embarrass the breed by putting a dog in the ring that doesnít want to be there or that doesnít conform to the standard."

 

 

 

 

Regarding grooming, which basic advice would you like to offer owners ??

 

"Start early in your grooming, younger dogs adapt more easily to the grooming process. It is best to have your grooming down to a pattern, before your pup turns 10 months. By the time your PON has reached the 10 months of age the coat will be starting to change and the mats will be in the coat before you know it.  Use a good pin brush, a good comb and good shampoo. A PON should never be groomed with a dry coat it should be damp when you start your grooming. NEVER use a slicker brush on the PON coat. I have found that the earlier you start your routine with the grooming and by keeping it a positive process the better off you will be. If done correctly your PON will love being groomed. Never let up, keep a regular schedule to maintain the coat, if you lay off for too long the mats will take over."

 

 

 

 

Many owners have commented on skin conditions/allergies in the breed. Do you have advice on diet (should they offer a home-cooked diet, similar to traditional PON Polish diets) ??

 

 "Iím not sure what advice can be given here. Each PON is different. Kaz and I always feed a low protein diet of dog food with lots of vegetables. One thing with the PONs is that they do love their vegetables. Allergy testing is always an option if diet changes donít work. Some owners will like to cook for their PONs and others will feed the RAW diet. It is up to each owner as to what they chose to do."

 

How can we strive towards protecting our PONs and insuring general breed health ??

 

  "This too can only be done by the owners of the PON. Some owners will do everything in their power to preserve and protect the breed, others wonít. Some would rather cover problems up with a false sense of pride than admit they are having problems within their kennel, jeopardizing the future health of the entire breed. You can only hope that each and every owner will do their very best and share what they have experienced.

 

On a personal note I would like to add: I was very disappointed when APONC, the club that I started back in the 80ís, refused a posting that was going to be put up, asking for pictures for the book. I just couldnít believe it. How better to get quality pictures of the best dogs than to go to the parent club. But all in all, I still hope that the book, if bought from me, will generate enough income to possibly start a tax free account I hope to leave as my legacy to the dogs."

 

Betty, we appreciate your efforts to update owners and inform them of basic information to insure the well being of our PONS. Thank you and we look forward to reading your book




 

 

 

Hi to all PON lovers and owners - Betty Augustowski is pleased to announced that she has completed an updated book on our fantastic breed. For those interested in having a copy, please note the following: 

 

The book is now  $27.00, including shipping and handling.

 Also, there are some of The Official Book of the Polish Lowland Sheepdog books. They will cost $30.00, including shipping and handling.

 Both books are available for $55.00 including shipping and handling.

 

           Rich & Ann Glazeski :  mailto:aponzoo@aol.com

 

 If you are owned by a PON, wish you were owned by a PON or looking for a test drive - this is your handbook. 

 

 

 

 

Anne Weiss's Mikey

Mikey went to the library for a R.E.A.D. orientation and was an instant celebrity among the children.

 

 

 

 

 

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